After a 17-year career as one of the most productive quarterbacks in NFL history, Philip Rivers is retiring from football at age 39.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Rivers said that playing quarterback in the NFL was his “childhood dream.” Rivers spent this past season with the Indianapolis Colts after 16 years with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Both Rivers’ throwing style and his ability to trash talk without profanities had a unique place in the league. Rivers is retiring as the Chargers’ franchise record-holder in every major passing category.

In his statement, he said he wanted to announce his retirement on January 20, which is the Roman Catholic Church’s feast day for St. Sebastian. St. Sebastian is known as a “patron saint of archers and athletes.”

“Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day,” Rivers said. “It is St. Sebastian’s Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I’m announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you, God, for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.”

The Chargers congratulated Rivers on his retirement and tweeted a statement from team owner Dean Spanos, “What a tremendous career. What a special person. Philip was truly original and did it his way, and his way was a heck of a lot of fun to watch.”

Spanos also called Rivers the “heart and soul of the organization for so many years.”

This past season, Rivers passed for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading the Colts to an 11-5 record and a wild card berth in the AFC playoffs; Indianapolis was eliminated as they lost to the Buffalo Bills 27-24.

The Colts also thanked Rivers for his time with them via Twitter.

Rivers joined the Colts on a one-year, $25 million contract last March after 16 seasons with the Chargers, who reached the playoffs six times with Rivers as their starter.

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